Everyone’s Dead in Dark Souls

Last time on Decently Drifting Dark Souls, we stabbed a skeleton in the dick!  Yeah, yeah, I know, progress through the game, getting ever closer to saving the world, all that stuff that’s kind of important too, but I don’t know that there’s anything else we got that’s ever going to beat stabbing a skeleton in the dick.  If you ever have the chance to try that, I would highly recommend it.

Anyways, we kicked some bony butt, flipped some switches, ran across a bridge, then passed through a fog gate.  That’s where we left off last time.

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The gate opens us into a big ol’ dark catacomb.  Aside from the candles keeping the wall corpses warm, I can’t see very far ahead of me.  I hug the wall to my right, then start walking along.

Before long, I spot an opening in the wall.  An arrow flies out of it and strikes me in the shoulder, to make sure I noticed.  Now, the fact that there’s something in there that needs killing would normally be motivation enough, but the developers of the game saw fit to sweeten the deal by highlighting that there’s treasure inside.  There’s a path leading out from here, so this is definitely a side trip, but I think I’ve earned myself a brief detour.

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I head in the door, than take a brief drop.  Immediately, I’m set upon by a few skeletons, one right behind me already swinging his sword, two more dropping arrows at me.  I block the blade, but take two arrows in the back. Obviously this isn’t a situation that can continue, so I roll out of the way.  The swordsman follows me, as does another arrow, both of which I block.  I pierce through the skeleton before me twice, taking another arrow as I do, then I book it for the staircase on the other side of the room.

The staircase ends up in a long, wide, dark hallway with a statue of some sort at the end of it.  He’s hidden in the darkness at first, but partway through is a large skeleton.  I don’t even stop as he strides forth, piercing him in the ankle before leaping away from his counter attack.

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I’m unsure as to how damaging he might be, and don’t particularly want to test his power out.  He’s not strong enough to pose any threat of getting past my guard, however.  At the same time, I counterjab into him several times and barely chip away at his life.  He’s got some strong defenses, at the very least.  We might be in for a drawn-out fight.

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I don’t have the patience for that right now.  I hit him in the face with a fireball.  He topples into a pile of bones.

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There’s a casket set before a statue of a mother with her child.  Inside the casket is a corpse with the Darkmoon Séance Ring, which lets me equip more spells.  The ring’s description claims that it’s worn by followers of the deity Gwyndolin, who is the last remaining deity in Anor Londo.  Yet, I had met Gwynevere in Anor Londo earlier.  That doesn’t match up…

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Going Down in Dark Souls

Last time, on Diamonds, Daisies, and Dark Souls, we did nothing!  A whole lot of nothing!  I mean, we’ve had our Dark Souls breathers before, but this was spectacular in its nothingness.   We accomplished absolutely zilch in our last post.  But don’t worry.  That one was just the appetizer.  I hope you didn’t fill up, because here’s where we get to the actual meal.

And yet every time I start a post like that, I always spend the first couple paragraphs just dicking around.  Who am I to break with a good tradition?  In this case, I just bugger off to Anor Londo, and spend a good long while hanging with the giant blacksmith there.  He’s not my best friend.  I haven’t had good luck with best friends.  But he’s close.

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Specifically, meeting Sif in the past reminded me that I had his soul in my pocket.  I figured I saved his life, so he probably won’t mind this next part, and have the giant blacksmith hit his spirit with a hammer until my shield absorbs it.  That gives me the same shield Artorias granted him, to protect him from all those ghosts in the Abyss.

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Except mine’s a lot sexier, of course.  I know, because I picked up the original, worn out shield from Sif back in the past as well.  Oh, and do you remember how Elizabeth decided to keep my deeds and glory a secret, in order to keep the whole time paradox thing from happening?

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Yeah, causality can go screw.

I have armed myself with two of the exact same shield, from different points in time.  I bear the power of paradox itself.  Let’s see how good it is in a fight.

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The zombie gazes into this impossibility I have created.  One shield sure, but two of them?  Its mind tears itself apart from the very thought of it.

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The reality of my paradox resolves itself right in its face.

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None can stop the wrath of time itself, the thing that should not be!

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A Dark Souls Pacifist Run

What is this?!  Three months since a Dark Souls post?!  This is an outrage!  Who’s running this place, I’m going to complain to the manager!

Oh, right.  But anyways, this won’t do.  We’ve got to get this Dark Souls bidness taken care of.  Do you have any idea how close we are?  So close!  With exclamation points!  That’s how close we are!  We have to keep the momentum up!  This Dark Souls train cannot be stopped!

It only takes detours.

And it’ll take one today.

Last time.  We kicked ass.  We kicked giant ass.  We kicked huge stupid demon monkey ass.  Which, I mean, granted, that ass kind of smeared us across town for a good long while, but still, in the end, we prevailed!  Eat that, Manus!

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And of course, with victory, comes the spoils.  I’ve rescued the damsel.

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She’s totally my girlfriend.  Have I told you guys about that?

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Right, and she’s so happy to see me, and we are going to go on the best date after this.

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She’s showering me with smooches and okay what the blazes.

The whole ordeal has left her senseless.  I use Artorias’s pendant to kick the Abyss back a bit, but it doesn’t help.  She is completely unaware of everything around her. Continue reading

Manus can go burn

Last time, on the New Adventures of Old Aether, I said a thing.  Do you remember the thing I said?  I’ll refresh your memory.

“Still, I managed to take off nearly half his health my first time.  For someone with a sobriquet as intimidating as “Father of the Abyss”, this really wasn’t that rough.  At this rate, Dusk, I’ll have you safe in no time!”

So, I think it’s time to confess, because there’s no way I’m going to be able to hide it now.  I am a flawed man.  Pride’s a big one.  I mean, looking as good as I do, it’s hard to avoid that, but as excusable as it is, that’s something I have to face about myself.  And that quote above is full of pride.  I can also be somewhat short-sighted, looking at my goals more than the path I have to take to get there.  The quote is full of that, too.  But that quote has also made me realize something about myself.  Something new.  Something I apparently needed Manus to show me.

I am a blasted idiot.

But before we get into that, allow me to put in a bit of filler here, so I can hide the depths of my stupidity from those that are too lazy to hit the jump.

My path back to Manus’s lair takes me past Marvelous Chester.  He’s got some new things to say now that I’ve met the Father of the Abyss.

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Which I already knew, to some degree, thanks to the spells I’ve been finding around.  Chester was happy to fill me in on how exactly that happened.

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I’m guessing the primeval man was Manus.  Ornery does seem an apt descriptor for him.  The toothy serpent does interest me.  The Kingseeker Frampt, or another of his kind?  No idea.  And Chester isn’t about to fill me in.

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I wonder if Chester can leave this time.  I can head out whenever I want, thanks to the lordvessel and the bonfires being linked.  Does Chester have that ability?  Or is he planning to just hang out here, just on the outside of the borders of Oolacile, waiting for it to fall?  Either way, the man doesn’t seem very proactive about getting back to his hometime.

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On my way back, I spy a corpse with some souls near the elevator back down to the chasm of the abyss.  It stands at the head of a path I didn’t notice before, leading down to a river-worn gap between two cliffs.  I take the stairs down, then turn around and check the gap behind me.  It seems to have a treasure-bearing corpse at the end of it.  It also has what looks to be two dogs in the way, with glowing red eyes.  New enemies!

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Dark Lord, Dark Souls

Last time, on the Aether Loses at Dark Souls, we trekked across Oolacile, beat down an invader, and found ourselves at a threshold.  An elevator, looking to descend nowhere but into absolute darkness.  Are we ready to step across, to take it into the unknown, to take the fight to the heart of the Abyss?

Nope.  I decide we’re not.  So I just stand there.

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Until oops, I accidentally put on the Covenant of Artorias, just in case, and accidentally step onto the elevator, and accidentally ride it all the way down.

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The elevator lets me off at what appears to be a dungeon.  Which makes me wonder what that big combat hallway was all about before.  A former courthouse?  Dunno.  In any case, the area is lined in these slick Abyss remnants, which grows thicker the further down I go.  It ends with a bonfire before a broken wall.  It doesn’t seem that the Abyss is strong enough that I need the Covenant of Artorias to survive here, so I switch it out.

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I have the Humanity to spare, for once, so I kindle this bonfire.  Get me those extra estus uses while I can.

I walk out the hole in the wall.  It seems to overlook a great chasm, filled with darkness.  I’m guessing this is where the Abyss first infected the city from.  The path out from the hole leads both directions, but trails off to the right.  So obviously, I head the other way.

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Well, that’s the most descriptive name I’ve seen in a long time.  I find a number of messages here, saying there’s a lizard ahead.  I wonder why I should care for a bit, before finally I spot it.  A crystal lizard.  Ok, that’s worth some note.  I rush towards it.  It turns to flee, but I’m on it before it can get too far.  A quick swing lets me harvest its titanite bounty.

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With darkness all around me, it’s hard to make out where the path I’m on leads, especially as it opens up.  I spy a light glittering in the distance, and make my way towards it.  A prism stone, I find when I get close.  I don’t think any creature from the Abyss would need any of these.  Which means someone else had gotten here first.  Left behind by Artorias, most likely.  In any case, the prism stone marks the start of a path downwards.  In fact, looking down into the Abyss, I can see another light shining far down below.  I’m not quite ready to make progress yet, though, so I turn around, and explore the top level of the cavern some more.

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I spy a blue light in the distance.  Flickering slightly.  Looks to me like some treasure.  And I do love treasure.  So I head towards it.  The blue light grows as I near.  So too do the numerous red lights around it.  Before I know it, I’ve drawn the eye of four bloatheads.  As one fires a Dark Orb at me, the other three rush me down.

I dodge to the side of the bolt, then run down the path I came from towards the bonfire, seeking some cover.  I round a corner, then turn and steel myself.  Of the three bobbleheads chasing me, one’s drawn ahead of the other two, just a bit.  I greet him with my blade when he gets close enough.

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This turns out to be a mistake.  I’m not strong enough to kill him in a single blow, and by the time we both recover, the other two are upon me.  With three of them hammering against my shield at once, they quickly overpower my guard, then lay into me with sequential attacks.  It’s more than I can bear, and by the time I get my defenses back up, I’m already dead.

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Dominance and Dark Souls

Last time, on Drifting Through Dark Souls, we had a pretty easy time making it through this doomed city.  And then we died.  But we’re not going to let a silly thing like that keep us down, are we?

As always, we press on.  Heading back towards the large building in which we died.  At least at first.  I spot something shiny on the way there.  I love shinies.  I jump off the path I’m on, onto a roof, and pick up some souls from the corpse.  Once I’m there, I realize I have no idea how to get back onto the walkway I was on.

Luckily, there’s a path leading out from this roof.  I take it, and it leads me into a decently-sized room, with a sorceress inside.  I get my shield up in time to intercept the dark bolt she fires at me, then charge her down before she can ready another.  The room has another path leading out of it, and a staircase downwards.  I take the other path first.

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I reach the end of it.  There’s nothing on this path save for this note.  Yet judging the symbol and lack of a rating, this was not a note left by any other player.  It’s here for a reason.  Somehow, I don’t think hurling a fireball is what it means.  I don’t have the spell for casting light prepped, either.  I take a quick look through my inventory, trying to see if I have anything that could light things up.  And hey!  That looks perf… oh no.

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The Sunlight Maggot.  That same thing Solaire was wearing when he went mad.

Man.  Do I want to do this?  Judging from the spells Dusk and Elizabeth had, Oolacile was big on, or at least had prominent lines of, illusion magic.  I could totally see them hiding something here that could only be revealed by shining light on it.  Maybe something important.  You don’t hide your garbage with the arcane powers of the soul, after all.  But if this is what snapped Solaire, I don’t know if I want to deal with it.  I don’t even know why I’ve been carrying the maggot around in the first place.  The whole thought of it disgusts me.

But maybe there’s something shiny.

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As soon as I put the maggot on, a section of the wall disappears, revealing a chest in the corner of the room.  I don’t feel any more hollow for wearing the maggot.  Maybe this was just a symptom, rather than the cause for Solaire’s madness.  Or maybe I’m hollow enough already.  I try not to think about it.  Rather, I take off the maggot as soon as the opening appears, then scramble inside for the chest.  There’s only one thing inside, an amulet showing a familiar symbol.

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Artorias’s pendant, and ancient treasure from the glory days of Anor Londo, said to be able to repel the Abyss.  Perhaps he left it here hoping it’d prevent the Abyss from completely consuming Oolacile?  If so, it’s not doing a very good job.  Important indeed.  And shiny.  In any case, it’s clear this sector is done.  What hasn’t already fallen to the Abyss has been overtaken by the bloatheads, with every living thing here either dying or joining the enemy forces.  For that matter, I hadn’t seen a single sane person since I left Ciaran.  I slip it into my pouch.  I think I’ll be able to put it to better use shoving it straight into Manus’s heart than it’ll see being left here.

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The Eye of the Dark Souls

Last time, on Dueling Swords, Dark Souls, we slew a legend!  Then found out we were fated to do the same work for which that lazy bum had been posthumously taking all the credit for.  Sucks to be us.

I’d go on the whole screw destiny kick here, but really, if Artorias doesn’t do it, and we don’t do it, then Lordran’s pretty much screwed.  I’m pretty sure it’s this Abyss that completely wiped Oolacile off the map back in my time, and if it’s not checked here, there might not even be a Lordran for me to run around and be the Best Chosen One in.  Besides, I haven’t rescued Dusk yet.  And I want to try rescuing a princess just once.  I think a hero of my stature needs that behind them.

I head back to the Sanctuary to heal up, then return to the arena in which I fought Artorias.  There’s someone there.  A woman.  Here in the place of that Epic Battle of the Ages.  It looks like she’s placing a memorial to how awesome our fight was.  She must be a fan of mine.  I walk up to her, and start telling her all about my awesome fight with Artorias.  She turns, and…

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Oh! Ohhh.  She was… close with him.  In mourning.  And here I am, running my mouth.  I hang my head, then hand her Artorias’s soul.  I’m sure I could use it to make something awesome, but Artorias, at least, the man he was before the Abyss took him, deserves something better.  Let her have the soul for his little shrine.

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In return, she gives me her weapons.  The Dark Silver Tracer and the Gold Tracer, a pair of short swords.  She seems to understand the condition Artorias was in, and doesn’t hold a grudge against me for killing him.  I look over the weapons, and realization comes to me.  That is the Lord’s Blade Ciaran!  Another of the Four Great Knights.  Her blades require a fighting style that does not match mine in the least, but I suspect her giving these to me is more for her sake than anything else.  She does not need these anymore.

I leave her to grieve in peace, and head up the stairs at the other end of the chamber.

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That path leads me to a large, open area with a few staircases branching off.  I take one, and find myself on a balcony outside, overlooking the Royal Wood.  I follow it around, and it leads me to this locked door set into a tower.  I can hear movement inside, but the door’s locked, and I have no way to enter.

I collect some souls from up here, head back down, and take the other exit.

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A hallway to the side leads to the Battle of Stoicism Gazebo.  Like someone was throwing darts at a dictionary.  Basically an area for people looking for a fight online, because apparently Dark Souls’ random invasion mechanic doesn’t give you enough opportunity for that.  It does give you some unique duel and deathmatch options, but I don’t really get much out of playing against people I don’t even know, so I don’t have a whole lot of interest in this type of multiplayer.

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Instead, I take the staircase down, and find myself near a bonfire in a whole new section of the city.

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